In his mortal existence, the necromancer had been obsessed with its call. And now in lieu with the shadow eternal, it was all mortal memory that he retained; a shred from a former life that had long since given sway before the dark beauty of the abyss. Now, he no longer answered the call. Now… he was the herald.

And death he had called… in waves… in legion… to devour all that stood in it’s way. To crumble the empire that so boldly erected its egotistical affront on these lands. To rip their feign of dominion from their grasp, and replace it instead with a monument to their demise. Let them salvage nothing from this place but the decay of their folly…

Shadows coalesced and dissipated in smoky traces where his midnight cloak grazed the weeping earth. It wept in blood – the blood of hapless fools who in their tenacity and faith throught they could stemy the darkness that had come to consume them all. And now, nothing was left to bear witness to that last futile stand, save for the ghosts of this battle. Ghosts that would retain their free will for but a moment before he maddened their spirits when he bent them to his will.

The chorus of chaos was still lamented over the border and the outpost, as his hordes scavenged for the last traces of life that blighted this place. Nightmares moved between them, all but taken by a menacing legarthy as they winded aimless between the fallen. They were so different from the dead, these demons whose soul purpose was to destroy and instill fear in their foes. No devices was left to them after; no calling heeded to replace the vestige of false pride exuded by the living with the humility of death and decay. No wish to rewrite the worldly order to bend the knee to new masters that would make of this land a dark paradise…

He was given pause then, in his depraved musings, as he waded through the dead. By one of the fallen – a large warrior who was not surrounded by the bodies of his own, but by the now-still corpses that thad been stripped of their dark magicks fuelling their damned crusade. The necromancer regarded the warrior who lay there with eyes shut, at peace with axe in hand and the dying memory that he had cleaved through his enemy till the very end. But if anything, and for all the trouble that the living had caused him, the last thing the necromancer intended to give any soul on this blasted battlefield was the peace of death…

The dead needed a juggernaut that would serve as executioner; to fill the numbers of their ranks… Perhaps, the necromancer thought, he had found his champion…

So he raised his gnarled hand, and dark energies swirled to prelude the touch of reanimation. It enveloped the fallen gladiator – a corrosive field of purplish magic that seeped into unmoving muscles, flooded the scars of battle, and dragged back the soul that had believed itself safe; back to the bodily prison that would drive it mad in the service of its master.

Inktober #26

You may want to read the following interconnected story within the Inktober series:

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